In some cultures and religions fasting is viewed as a way of strengthening your mind and cleansing your body. In the Islamic tradition of Ramadan people fast from sunrise until sunset as a way of paying respects to their god and feeling the pain of those who suffer hunger daily. In Buddhism, fasting is viewed as a way of gaining self-control and is often used while practicing meditation.
It our culture it seems rare that someone would willingly choose to give up the greatest three parts of their day and this is very understandable. We live more stressful fast-paced lives than other cultures and giving up food on top of it all could cause more harm than benefit for the unpracticed mind. But, what if we fasted other things?
Modern technology has not been around very long in human history. Computers, telephones, televisions, motorized vehicles, social media, screens, motors, screens, lights, screens, sounds, and screens. While the benefits of technology are very clear with worldwide communication, travel and millions of brilliant inventions, it seems that many are consumed and controlled by it, so amazed by funny tweets that they walk straight into water fountains.
While food is a basic need for survival, your phone is not. So, instead of fasting with food, why don't we fast with our technology? A day without television. A day without texting. A day without using your car. Lets spend some time remembering what life is like without ringtones going off every 10 minutes or a constant vibration in your pocket. Put your screens away for a day and spend sometime outside. Lets spend some time fasting with our technology.
I know that most businesses require you to be at a computer or on the phone so I will compromise. Here is my challenge to you:
Start with something small. Think of something you can give up for a few hours. Do you turn the TV on when you wake up to watch the news? Do you fall asleep watching Vampire Diaries on Netflix? Tomorrow morning you won’t turn anything on. Enjoy your breakfast in silence. Tomorrow evening, you’ll read a book before bed. Sweet dreams.
Now lets move on to something harder. How many times do you check your twitter, facebook, instagram, snapchat, etc. each day? Tomorrow, you will have your phone on you for work and emergencies only. No social media. Do you check your phone in the middle of the night? Not today you don't. Put it in the closet (set a few alarms just in case).
You Haven’t given up yet? Great, lets move on. This weekend you will not drive anywhere. Going out with friends? Ride a bike. Need some groceries? Walk to the store.
Think of the things you can live without and try living without them. Think of things that you think you can’t live without, and try living without them (please exclude breathing from your trials. You really do need to keep breathing). See how you feel after going a day without something that you normally wouldn't.
Once you've given our technology fast a try, comment below and let us know how you did. How did it feel? What did you do? You may inspire someone else to follow in your footsteps.